New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion will serve as the President of the Jury at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, taking place May 14 – 25. Campion is no stranger at the festival. Last year, she lead the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury at the 66th Festival de Cannes. She won the Short Film Palme d'Or for her 1986 short film Peel and later won the Palme d'Or for The Piano in 1993 (the only female filmmaker to do so in the award's history), which later lead to an Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Best Director nomination. The Piano screened in the 1993 New York Film Festival.
Last year, Steven Spielberg served as Jury President, which ultimately selected Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue Is the Warmest Color, which was honored last night as Best Foreign Film at the New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner in Midtown Manhattan. It had its U.S. debut at the New York Film Festival last fall.
“Since I first went to Cannes with my short films in 1986,” Campion said. “I have had the opportunity to see the festival from many sides and my admiration for this Queen of film festivals has only grown larger. At the Cannes Film Festival they manage to combine and celebrate the glamour of the industry, the stars, the parties, the beaches, the business, while rigorously maintaining the festival's seriousness about the art and excellence of new world cinema…I am truly honored to join with the Cannes Film Festival as President of the in Competition features for 2014. In fact I can't wait.”
Added Cannes head Thierry Frémaux: “We are immensely proud that Jane Campion has accepted our invitation. Following on from Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Huppert in 2009, she is the latest distinguished name to grace a prestigious roster of female Presidents. Coming from a country and indeed a continent where film is a rare but powerful phenomenon, she is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public. And we are confident that her exacting approach will be mirrored by her jury.”
Jane Campion bio provided by the Festival de Cannes follows:
Born into a family of artists, Jane Campion studied anthropology, then art, before turning to film, where her rise to success was meteoric. In the wake of her acclaimed short films, which culminated in a Palme d’Or, she captivated international critics with Sweetie (1989), her first feature film, selected In Competition at the Festival de Cannes. After An Angel at my Table (1990), inspired by the works of Janet Frame, in which the theme of an extraordinary woman engaged in the painful quest to assert her identity had already been sketched out, she returned to competition in Cannes in 1993 with The Piano, which won the Palme d’Or as well as Best Actress prize for Holly Hunter (starring opposite the unforgettable Harvey Keitel). A few months later, Jane Campion, nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, instead picked up the award for the best Screenplay.
Her subsequent works have featured several variants on female characters engaged in an intense yet often thwarted quest for fulfillment: Portrait of a Lady in 1996 with Nicole Kidman, Holy Smoke in 1999 [with] Kate Winslet, and In the Cut (2003) with Meg Ryan.
Her last film for cinema, Bright Star, an original vision and fictionalized biography of the poet Keats and his muse, was presented In Competition at Cannes, in 2009.
Jane Campion has recently won remarkable public and critical acclaim with a television series, Top of the Lake, in which she develops her favorite themes, portraying the splendor of nature, the outpouring of romantic passion and the revolt of women against societies dominated by violence and machismo. Yet further proof of Campion’s status as a major filmmaker and indefatigable pioneer.